Tuesday, February 7, 2012

106. - A Geography Refresher

106.0 The Long Look: As noted earlier, in Section 100.0, when we take a general overview, we can notice that the redemptive pathway does traverse different kinds of "life-terrain" including some which can be accurately characterized as, "wilderness."

As noted earlier, that redemptive journey actually has three essential phases. Let's now do a quick and somewhat expanded review of those three phases.

106.1 The Reconciliation Phase:  The first, of course, as mentioned in that earlier section, is the Reconciliation Phase. This is certainly the most easily identified phase. Before anything else can occur, we just need to experience God's forgiveness through the Cross of Christ.  And that dramatic occurrence is easily distinctive.

106.2 The Renewal Phase: The second phase of the redemptive process is the Renewal Phase. This is, in very real terms, the truly restorative phase of redemption. 

This is where we start to get our messed up emotional, intellectual, psychological, and spiritual "wiring" really straightened out. And, it is in this phase ,that the Living Christ decisively deals with that  Subconscious Sin Value which continues to plague every believer, even after their sincere, conscious decision to embrace the Lordship of Christ.

And, this phase can bring the believer to some very challenging "change issues."  And, the growth pain connected to these changes can be very disconcerting and lead to what feels very much like an "emotional wilderness."   

106.3 The Fruitful Phase:  As noted earlier in Section 100, if all goes correctly to this point, and resulting from the believer's completion through the Spiritual merger, he or she does move through this humbling emotional wilderness time.  And, in doing so, we come to the final phase of the redemptive process - the Fruitful Phase.  This phase is so labeled for the personal growth which occurs during this time.  It's here that we begin to experience a truly thorough newness of heart and life.
What happens in this final phase of Christian redemption is that the believer simply becomes more mature, and thus stronger, in the Living Christ.  And, as we become so, we are enabled, not only to manage to defeat the sin-motive on those secondary levels of heart and life, but also, in the strength of the indwelling Christ, we are able to add more and more God-pleasing character traits (character fruit) to our character essence.

The apostle, Paul, mentions some of those character traits in the Book of Galatians, chapter 5.  There he says, "But the fruit of the Spirit [of the Living Christ] is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."  [Brackets Added]   So, this third phase becomes a time of true "character polishing" in the strength of Christ.  

106.4 There Is Some Issue Overlap:  We should note, however, that while the defining characteristic of each redemptive phase is easily distinguished as we take this less detailed, "long look."  Yet, when we take a more detailed look at each phase, we can also easily notice that within these phases there also occurs some "issue mixing and overlap."

For example, while the conquest of the sin-motive on the secondary levels is certainly at issue in all three redemptive phases, yet, we can also notice in the Fruitful Phase, that the emphasis eventually shifts more toward character building.  This can and does happen safely, as it should, because the believer, in this more mature phase of his or her growth in Christ, has grown strong in Him, and is perfectly capable of simultaneously allocating energy to both issues at the appropriate level. 

106.5 In Conclusion:  So, the redemptive path in one view can be described as simple.  Yet, in the more detailed view, it is actually quite sophisticated, taking us through various situational complexities and all kinds of "life-terrain."  Nevertheless, this wonderful divine process does eventually, also bring us truly home to a real heart-oneness with God.  We have but to faithfully lean on our "Strong Guide"- the Living Christ.